ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals will use Thursday's off-day to manipulate their rotation and maximize their use of ace Adam Wainwright down the stretch.
Rather than have Shelby Miller start the team's first game in Philadelphia on Friday, Wainwright will handle the series opener and Miller will go on Saturday. That will keep Wainwright, who last pitched Sunday, on regular rest and sets him up to pitch in the team's two remaining series against the Pirates and each of the two series against the first-place Brewers.
Had Wainwright remained on turn, he would have missed an opportunity to pitch during the Cardinals' early-September visit to Milwaukee.
"We like seeing him out there," manager Mike Matheny said. "We've adjusted his workouts accordingly, and the same thing with Shelby."
After Thursday, the Cardinals will have three more off-days before the regular season concludes and can again tweak their rotation if desired. Wainwright, who won his 15th game in his last start, ranks third in the National League in ERA (2.40) and innings pitched (176).
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.